iPod Shuffle 3G Review

iPod Shuffle 3G Review




The new iPod Shuffle 3G is the smallest music player from Apple. The biggest change to this model is the absence of playback controls, a functionality that drew a lot of flak when it was announced.Â

ipod shuffle

The new 3rd-gen iPod Shuffle is surprisingly small (about a half to two-thirds of the size of its predecessor) you’d easily mistaken it as a paper or money clip. The only controls embedded in the device is the On/Off switch situated at the top end together with the 3.5mm jack and a small needle-point light to indicate device activity.

shuffle 3g
 
Since iPod Shuffle’s don’t have a display screen of any sort, the new version made use of Voice Over that enables a user to know to the name of the song and the artist that is being played. The Voice Over also functions as a status indicator for the Shuffle (talks back and tells you if battery is low and needs recharging). The male voice though reminds me of those text-to-speech voice quality.The 3.5mm audio jack also serves as the charging port via USB.

The playback controls are found on the right earbud cable which includes play/pause, forward to next song, and volume up and down (tried using it on my iPhone 3G and it partially worked, minus the volume controls). The headphones have been slightly improved with the cables a little more rubbery (to keep it tangle-free) and while the earbuds are practically the same, sound quality is better compared to the old ones.


 

ipod shuffle

After a couple of weeks using the Shuffle, I realized that the playback controls on the earphones make sense especially when I’m using it while jogging or in the gym. I’ve also noticed people who are using their cellphones as music players are already with having the controls in the earphone cables so in terms of usability, I don’t think this is an issue.

shuffle 3g

Apple has been known to make their customers adapt to their products, not the other way around. That’s why you don’t see people clamoring about being able to hook up a Logitech/Genius keyboard and mouse onto their Macs. As such, it was no surprise to me that Apple shifted the playback controls from the device itself to the headphones.

Sure, iPod headphones are not the best out there so this move on the Shuffle didn’t help address that issue (and the ability to be able to use any other headphones along with it). Despite that I don’t think this will hugely affect sales of the new model (SRP Php4,190 for 4GB). If you’re not into it, Apple is still selling the second generation Shuffle at a much lower price (SRP Php2,590 for 1GB). And if you’re very particular about headphones, Klipsch and Scosche will be releasing their own version of headphones that’s compatible with the new Shuffle.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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35 Responses

  1. jhay says:

    At least there are still third-party manufacturers who would make compatible headphones for this new model, which my cousin has been drooling over for weeks now.

  2. william says:

    save a little more and get i ipod nano instead

  3. Gadget Go says:

    i don’t know about you guys, but i really feel that this device is a big mistake HUGE! well, a year is short in apple’s time so better luck next year proprietary king, say hi to sony for me.

    check apple’s prices in the market at http://pinoygadgetprice.blogspot.com/ though

  4. mike says:

    to me it’s just typical apple strategy, everything is proprietary. now even with their headphones. It’s more of a marketing scheme rather than an innovation if you ask me.

    …i wondering how much will those Klipsch headphones set you back though.

  5. jokiz says:

    this product is crap, just bought it and tried it for the first time tonight, same problem as everyone posted in the forums:
    http://tinyurl.com/c48up7

  6. Charles says:

    I’m going to say this again and again. We all know what these gadgets can do, it’s information is all over google and apple’s website.

    quote:

    sound quality is better compared to the old ones

    this is the only sensible clause of this post as pretty much everything else is blatantly given and common sense.

    geez

  7. I think i’ll just have to stick with my old and trusty iriver.

  8. william says:

    @Charles
    whats your point? don’t bother visiting this site next time. abe is just giving a personal review and information about it. I just don’t understand when people like you whine about this kind of post.. He’s just sharing his insights.

  9. gE88 says:

    Charles, let me give you a scenario.

    Jollibee has a new product called peach mango pie. There is a lot of rave about the new dessert. Blogger Jim tried it and blogged about it. Reviewer Jack tried it and made a review about it. Their reviews are similar because it is the same food. But will I settle for jus a couple of blog and review? I have a blog and it happens to be my Job and people around me would like to hear what I think about it (or I am just compelled to make an article because it is a popular product).

    I tried it and write about it. Guess what! Reviews were right, because it is the same product, the result is just the same. But I have to write it down anyway.

    Believe me Charles, even before all these readers visit this site, they have gone through hundreds of websites that deal with this product. They just want to hear what a fellow filipino thinks about it.

  10. myke says:

    @Charles

    well I don’t visit “other” blogs/forums most of it are blocked by our oh-so-fabulous net admin >:D so props for abe’s review

  11. AliD says:

    as for me, this is the first review I’ve read for this product. good thing abes’ blog is not blocked by websense here at work. hehe

  12. gE88 says:

    i have visited approximately 12 reviews of this device which includes:

    Cnet
    PCworld
    stuff.tv
    Engadget
    Gizmodo
    Youtube videos

    and did that stop me from checking other blog and reviews? No siree! I also checked Abe’s review for the sake of … I WANT TO!

  13. Charles says:

    william:

    Peach mango pie has peach, mango, and flour with sugar, salt, coconut oil and other flour and flavor enhancers, before it was the size of today’s tuna pie that was halved to make it affordable. Knowing the taste of the peach mango pie is great, but is it yummy? Knowing the yummyness is the same that of the sound quality of the device.. Good thing that Abe described what it sounds like because i already know what it can do, This post is very informative.

    My comment is actually very constructive, hoping that Abe would someday post about a paragraph long statement about sound quality because i cannot find a filipino music device reviewer that focuses on sound quality, i.e. anythingutipod. But since i just realized that this blog about generic technology-related things and other bells and whistles that charge up visits and you’re opposing my statements i find that wish flushed down the drain now, thanks.

    Also, i go to this blog everyday so i also add up to the rankings so i am helping, EVERYDAY. OK

    ge88:

    This post is perfectly informative and we loved it, right. :-)

  14. ge88 says:

    @charles,

    good point. love the sarcasm. in fact you are very right there. sound quality as much as the built quality of the product must be scrutinized and should be explained in details. the whole point of having this product is to listen to music. well abe, can you be more specific on the sound quality of this product?

    and charles, next time don’t end your comment with “geez.” where’s your patience?

  15. yuga says:

    Guys,

    I’ve been doing some research for some time on how to objectively do a review on sound quality.

    I’m preparing a standard test for sound quality review which involves multiple tests, comparisons and a MOS (mean opinion score).

    1) Acquire several earphones from various brands — Apple, Phillips, Sony, Nokia, Sennheiser and other no name brands and of course the cheaper ones as well. These will form the standard sample which I will assign ratings to for future comparisons.

    2) Compile a single MP3 song at various bit rates and rate the quality of music output on a multiple media players (Zune, iPod, etc). It could be a rating between 1 to 10 for simplicity.

    3) Appropriate a single type of audio speakers for all music players as standard listening device (when earphones are not in use). I have an Altec Lansing 321 for this.

    4) Assign a standard room for listening where I can control ambient noise.

    5) Get a “loudness device” of some sort so I can electronically record maximum volume capacity.

    Once I’m finished setting up these, I’ll put up a dedicated page for a chart comparison and some basic definition for readers.

    I will then update reviews which involved sound quality and add that part which is missing/lacking.

    Again, what I’m trying to avoid is too much subjectivity that’s why I try not to delve much into sound quality. Besides, I think I have some hearing problems (volume-related). Hopefully, with this new system in place, I can provide a more objective and standardized results.

  16. iceman says:

    my friend just bought this product a week ago at apple store and I had a chance to twikle its specs and capabilities… verdict: it sucks..

  17. robobop says:

    hmm I’m actually planning to buy the new shuffle for some personal reasons,well it might be too small and simplistic for some but I think it would do just fine.

  18. tested ko na mga ipod…I got 3 ipods a shuffle mini, nano video 2rd gen , and nano 4th gen,,,…. sobrang tibay..

  19. Irene says:

    I don’t know why but the earphones always got busted after 3-6 months usage. So this “innovation” of the playback control integrated on the earphones would not be good for me since I need to buy another earphone every 3-6 months. Tsk. I still love the 2nd Generation of IPOD shuffle. XD

  20. andy says:

    after seeing this 3G shuffle, i can’t wait to see 4G shuffle cause this one is ugly…

    nothing beats the 2G shuffle…

    i like the whole voice thingy and all, but this baby just came out way too early for it’s time…

    come back 5 years from now, when all earphones, headphones will fit into your odd socket…

    so buy the 2G version instead. 1GB for 2k… can’t go wrong with that

  21. Good post, adding it to my blog now, thanks

  22. eatonop says:

    Within six months since I bought it brand new straight from an apple store, I had two of these serviced by apple. Both had the same problem — earphones. My brother and I use this gadget a lot at the gym especially while running on a treadmill. Mine developed a problem three months after buying it. The control started to fail. My brother’s toy just a week ago with the sound failing when he is already wet with sweat. I surmise some kid of short when sweating. We looked if there are any visible crevice or cuts on the protective covering -nada. Anyway, good thing they are still under warranty and we also have apple care extended warranty. Apple service provider just replaced the headsets with new ones. But mind you, it took them 2 weeks before they returned the shuffle with the new earphones.

  23. Ally says:

    Help!

    I am seriously considering of getting myself one on Christmas. It will be basically for running/working out, so great sound quality is not an issue for me. My concern is,

    Are the free headphones waterproof/resistant? I sweat heavily during running and it might be a big problem when it just crashes or something.

    Help, anyone!

  24. earl says:

    hi i just want to ask my 3rd gen shuffle lost if this ipod compatible wth other charger or can i use other usb charger but it is not apple product

  25. earl says:

    i mean my cable was lost

  26. Stephanie says:

    Hello Gorgeous! This one looks like a small clip. Very great modifications though

  27. Michael says:

    Surely, APlle is rocking the music players industry again, they are thingking of the next wave in technology way ahead of their competitors!

  28. Kurt says:

    Nothing beats the 2nd generation iPod shuffle. It’s very, very durable. I’ve clumsily fallen it numerous times. The lower portion was even almost worned out due to excessive falling. THough, even though by that fact, my iPod is still perfectly functioning. It’s that durable. The exceptions: their headphones. I think you should buy another one.

  29. Very intereting to read…thx for sharing.

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